Sims sets up relief effort amid coronavirus pandemic

BMW Formula E driver Alexander Sims is part of a campaign to collect protective equipment from UK motorsport companies and donate it to the NHS in response to COVID-19.

Sims sets up relief effort amid coronavirus pandemic

A small group, including Sims and his performance engineer Andrea Ackroyd, are seeking unopened stock such as face masks, goggles, gloves, shoe covers, plastic aprons and detergent wipes.

The channels to donate these resources directly to the NHS have already been set up, and they do not need to be sourced from pre-agreed supply chains.

Donations will be taken from across the country, although there is a focus on the Oxfordshire area – which is widely regarded as the epicentre for motorsport industry.

In a letter sent to UK motorsport contacts, Sims wrote: "I am writing to you to see if we can try to pool together and help the NHS save the lives of the vulnerable people in society, due to them being completely overstretched through COVID-19.

"This is 100% to help the NHS keep their staff safe and able to work tirelessly to ensure more lives are saved.

"We know that they do not have enough equipment to operate safely.

"Please consider if you have or know anyone who would have some level of stock in their stores, workshops etc and you would be willing to donate some of or all of these to the NHS in their time of need.

"I will ensure that they reach the correct people. Some of you may have already taken it upon yourselves to do this but I'm aware of how fragmented things can be in business and simple ideas get missed.

"This may well be a drop in the ocean compared to the big manufacturing companies that are scaling up but it's something small we can do to help.

"NHS stock is not going to be replenished in the next few days!"

Sims told Motorsport.com that since the message was sent out on Thursday morning, hospitals have already been in touch requesting any donations due to the scarcity of equipment.

He has also set up an email for correspondence and can be contacted at alexander.sims@hotmail.co.uk or on Twitter @alexandersims.

It follows news that the London ExCeL Centre, which is still due to host the FE season finale across July 25-26, will open next week as a temporary hospital with 4,000 beds.

According to the UK government, as of Wednesday morning 9,529 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 463 of those are known to have died.

Also from the FE paddock, the majority owner of the Envision Virgin Racing team has set up the Envision Smile Manufacturing Centre.

Opened in only 15 days, the plant manufacturers and donates 100,000 face masks per day to the most badly affected areas in Asia.

The Enivision Group also pledged over £5 million to combat the spread of the virus.

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